James Anderson said that if Kohli feels that his runs don’t matter, then he is lying. He said that batsmen lives for runs and his performance as a batsman is pivotal for the team. It seems that it is another mind game by the hosts. Kohli said that “It doesn’t matter whether I get runs or don’t. What I want is the team to play well and win.”
Anderson said to PTI in an interview about Kohli’s statement that “It doesn’t matter if he gets runs or not? I think he is telling lies there,”
“For India to win here, of course, it matters. Virat will be desperate to score runs for his team, as you would expect from the captain and one of the best players in the world,” he added. He picked Kohli’s wicket in five occasions during 2014 and 2016-17 series. Kohli did a poor performance in his series in 2014 for the first time in the tour to England and in 2017 he slammed 655 runs in the home series with England. In an occasion, this 35-year-old cricketer picked a few scalps to hand England a win in the series against India by the lead of 4-0.
“Today, cricketers learn from not only watching match footage but also from past experiences. So I would expect a batsman of Kohli’s quality to have learned from that last series here (in 2014). I am sure he (Kohli) is practicing hard at certain aspects of his game and that will make the battle between him and not just myself, but him and the rest of our bowlers, a really exciting one.”
Currently, England is experiencing hot climatic conditions due to heat waves and hence the pitches will be drier. Anderson expected that there will be more pace in the pitches.
“Today, cricketers learn from not only watching match footage but also from past experiences. So I would expect a batsman of Kohli’s quality to have learned from that last series here (in 2014). I am sure he (Kohli) is practicing hard at certain aspects of his game and that will make the battle between him and not just myself, but him and the rest of our bowlers, a really exciting one.” He added.
He is in good form and picked 73 wickets from 19.1 since two years despite battling serious injury woes. He topped the ICC test rankings for bowlers recently. He felt that though Kohli is in best of his form, it is tough to hit boundaries with red Dukes Ball since that ball supports swingers and speedsters well.
“I think, it is a really difficult one to answer because you would think that the red ball swings more or does more off the seam. But it doesn’t work like that. A batsman like Virat plays the ball so late that they have got so much time and they make you feel slow as a bowler. It is hard with the white or red ball. (But) sometimes when batsmen are trying to be more attacking in white ball cricket than the red ball, you might create more chances. Overall it is hard to say.”
This speedster said that he could not pick the best out of current hitters like AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, and Joe Root.
“Well, I don’t like bowling to any one of them, to be honest. It is hard to pick one of them because they are all different in their own way. They have all got a lot of qualities. The thing that makes them stand out above other batsmen around the world is how they adapt to all different forms of the game.
“That’s what’s most impressive to not only be able to score 50 off 20 balls in a T20 but also get a 100 off 250 balls in a Test match. It takes a special batsman and special mentality to do that. So, I will sit on the fence and say these are the best batsmen in the world, and not pick one,” he signed off.